Today, Baccarat is one of the best games to in casinos. The game is everywhere in every casino. It’s now even able to be played online at table games, and even live table games. However, that wasn’t always the case though as it has been banned, outlawed by casinos, and even secluded from the public. However, the origins of baccarat are scattered. Different countries lay claim to being the ones who invented baccarat it doesn’t matter which country invented it. It only matters that it’s fun for us to play. Baccarat was originally played with dice, so when did it start being played with cards. And when did it come to America? Was it always this popular?
Let’s start out with the origins of Baccarat. Who invented the game originally? Some claim that it was derived from the early Chinese game of “Pai Gow,” which was a game made up by the Chinese with the sole purpose of getting the number nine to win. Some claim that it derived from ancient religion in Italy. Where women use to wager their faith. They would gamble their very lives in this game. It was originally thought that they used tarot cards to decide their faith. If the numbers that the women got were 8 or 9 then they were to be named high priestess. If they got the numbers 6 or 7 they were to give up their faith. However, in the direst of situations when they rolled anything other than 6 through 9 they had to throw themselves into the sea and drown themselves. Something that barbaric must’ve been done in ancient times.
The game was picked up by the French in the early 13th century and was played with dice. The game then in the late 13th century started being played with cards. This was because of Marco Polo who ventured east. He went to China and learned their woodblock printing technique. He then taught the Europeans who used this early press to make cards. This was later used to print a multitude of other things. However, the use of this technique was used to popularize card games in the late 13th century. This turned many dice games into card games, and from the 14th century onwards kept this style pf the game.
The French changed the rules of the game, and the meaning of the game from baccarat to “Chemin de Fer.” This was the French way to play the game. In the 19th century in 1837 King Louis Philip banned gambling in the entire country. However, this only made the game gain in popularity. Many of the nobles took to playing the game in underground rooms where they would wager money against others in order to win lands and gain money.
The game then was taken across the Atlantic to South American, where it was again changed. The rules and name changed and was called “Punto Banco.” This was played in many parts of South America but wasn’t as popular as it was in Argentina. Where Tommy Renzoni picked up the game and played with many people on his travel to America.
Baccarat was introduced to America in the early 1900s and had an article published about it in the New York Times. Naming it “Baccarat” and “Chemmy” the latter is the English version of the French game Chemin de Fer. However, it wasn’t vastly popularized until 1959 when Tommy Renzoni brought “Punto Banco” to Vegas. The game started out gaining headway, but casinos started to lose bank. So many of the casinos banned “Punto Banco” from their establishments. Only a handful of casinos allowed Baccarat to be played in their casino’s and only at specified times. In the 1970s in order to be able to play baccarat the person had to be rich and famous in order to get a seat. However, since then it has been dropped from a high-roller game to a mini-game that allows the average Joe to now play. It’s able to be played in casinos and online today and is a great way to try one’s luck.